"Brit-Am Now"-170
December 19, 2002
1. Tay-Sachs genes, Jews, and Cajuns
2. Question on the big toe and Celtic people.
3. More Toes and Some Red Heads
4. "Biblical Truth"

1. Tay-Sachs genes, Jews, and Cajuns
At 12:16 17/12/2002 -0600, Carmon wrote:
>I don't know much about this subject but stumbled on this:
>Tay-Sachs disease occurs most frequently in descendants of Central and
>Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jews. About one out of every 30 American Jews
>carries the Tay-Sachs gene. Some non-Jewish individuals of French-Canadian
>ancestry (from the East St. Lawrence River Valley of Quebec), and members
>of the Cajun population in Louisiana, are at similarly increased risk.
>These groups have about 100 times the rate of occurrence of other ethnic
>groups. The juvenile form of Tay-Sachs, however, may not be increased in
>these groups.
>Only through heredity. A Tay-Sachs carrier has one normal gene for hex A
>and one Tay-Sachs gene. The carrier does not have the illness and leads a
>normal, healthy and full life. However, when two carriers become parents.
>There is a one-in-four chance that any child they have will inherit a
>Tay-Sachs gene from each parent and have the disease. There is a
>one-in-four chance that the child will inherit the normal gene from each
>parent and be completely free of the disease and the Tay-Sachs gene. There
>is a two-in-four chance that the child will inherit one of each kind of
>gene and be a carrier like the parents and free of disease. If only one
>parent is a carrier, none of their children can have the disease, but each
>child has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the Tay-Sachs gene and being a carrier.
>What do you make of it? Curious because my mothers family is Cajun from
>Louisana. Some may also be from late (1800's) German migration to the same

Comment by Brit-Am:
>Very interesting. I once saw an article in a Discovery magazine (I think
>that was the one) that the Tay-Sachs

gene is actually beneficial as long as it is received the gene from only
one parent. It bestows a degree of immunity
against consumption (tuberculosis) which can be prevalent in crowded

2. Question on the big toe and Celtic people.
From: Sharon Lindstrom <slindstrom@mcttelecom.com>
Subject: Re: "Brit-Am Now"-169

Re: curious humor?
Okay, I have to ask!.... Who's got the "toe" gene? I have the 2nd toe
slightly longer than the big toe on the left side. Phew---it's not a defect
after all! :-)

Answer: According to the article (see "Brit-Am Now"-169, 4. woodrow lovett
:The Celtic Toe and
5. The Celts by Raymond E. Hunter) people with a big toe smaller than the
next toe are Celtic.
I understand that this is not necessarily so. I remember once seeing a note
that The thing with the toes was known amongst other people and is
sometimes found in Ancient Egypt and on Roman statues etc.
The point however is that, according to the article all (or most) of the
British Celts had the phenomenon
whereas the invading Anglo-Saxons did not.
Some time back a note appeared about  the pediatrician who had first wrote
a professional paper on the subject
and a web site from  which the paper could be downloaded but when I went
there I was unsuccesful. At all events
professional literature on the subject does exist somewhere.
If true, this would suggest that the British Celts may have been much more
homogeneous than is commonly
thought. It also may provide us with an indicator as to what proportion of
Celts remained in Anglo-Saxon areas
after the invasion, and it just may (or may not) also be a means by which
people of British stock can guess whether
they have any "Celtic" blood in them.
At all events it is a curiosity worth considering and perhaps taken into
account along with other factors.

3. More Toes and Some Red Heads
Subject: Re: "Brit-Am Now"-169 Celtic toes
Dear Yair,
You made no comments yourself about the Celtic toes. You probably have all
kinds of people writing in saying they have Celtic toes. I can be included.
However, does this add to the evidence of the Celtic having been a part of
the lost 10 tribes? Are there known Jews that are not of Celtic origins that
have the Celtic toe which could give a clue? I can't remember but it seems
your data has had more to do with language, artifacts and possibly some
customs. I can't remember you mentioning anything about the red hair
either.Could we have some comments from you?
Char Mecklenburg

Answer: Re toes and the Lost Ten tribes we cannot say anything though the
phenomenon was known from
some people in ancient Egypt (I think, needs  checking) and perhaps
elsewhere in the Middle East.
How many Jews have the toe I do not know. Maybe the next time I go to a gym
or the swimming pool
I will take a discreet glance. I know that the phenomenon is known in
Israel since I saw it once mentioned
in a daily newspaper: they said, some have it and others do not as if it
was one of those things we take as
a matter of course. (see what kind of curious information I keep tucked
away in my memory
and how sometimes it is useful?).
Red hair? Quite a few Jews are red-haired. David was red-haired, so was
Esau, and maybe also Moses
(according to an unconfirmed Midrashic source), Judas Iscariot in the
Middle Ages was supposed to have been
red-haired and it was supposed to be a sign of Jewish blood.
The Lost Ten Tribes in German legends were often described as red-haired
and depicted as a "threat".
There is a very interesting book on this subject:
  ANDREW C.  GOW,  "The Red Jews. Anti-Semitism in an Apocalyptic Age
1200-1600", U.S.A.

I saw this remark on another list:
  <<my Swedish step-grandmother, a born redhead, said that her father, a
man born in Sweden,  chided her throughout her childhood that, "You know, in
Sweden we drowned red haired babies.  You are lucky you were not born in
Sweden!"  That always astounded me as a child.>>
I do not think this should be taken
seriously, the father may well have been only having some "fun".

The Egyptians used to sacrifice red-heads.
In ancient Egypt red-hairs used to be associated with the god Seth who
sometimes represented
Israel in Egyptian thought. People from the Land of israel are occasionally
depicted as red-haired in Egyptian paintings.

A lot of Irish and Scottish are red-haired as well as Scandinavians.

Red-heads however are found in small numbers all over the world. It is a
similar phenomenon
to albinoism or blond hair. It may be due to genetics or to some cause.
People with red hair have a chance of being related to each other BUT IT IS
It is an indication (like the toe, as we have said above) that could be
considered along with other factors.

4. "Biblical Truth"
Copies of "Biblical Truth" are now available. The book looks very good.
See  posting on the book, coming soon.